Mississippi research into improving business development leads to new scholarship
Published 12:45 pm Sunday, January 22, 2023
A University of Mississippi program could help develop technology that would revolutionize the typical business cycle – news that inspired Harlene and Patrick Cavanaugh to make a major gift to the Ole Miss School of Business Administration.
Patrick Cavanaugh, of Denver, who earned a UM degree in business administration in 1970, established the Harlene and Patrick Cavanaugh BASE Scholarship Endowment. The support reflects the Cavanaughs’ passion for bettering the lives and education of students.
“It is the future that holds the promise for these young kids and, to us, there’s just a warm feeling that we’re actually going to be doing things younger folks can appreciate,” Cavanaugh said.
The School of Business Administration launched BASE to connect faculty expertise, student learning and industry interests around the growing wave of analytics. The BASE acronym reflects baseball while encompassing three ways in which industry grows: First base represents “sales,” second base is “supply chain” and third base is “marketing analytics.”
“Support for the BASE initiative provides business students access to real-world learning and professional development, while also helping the school grow its relationships with the business community,” said Hughes Miller, director of industry engagement.
BASE augments capabilities and offerings through traditional coursework, certificate programs, executive education and other training for university students and industry partners, Miller said. School officials plan to use private support to develop a learning facility that includes a sales laboratory and interview cubicles for role-plays and mock interviews and becomes a place for students, faculty, alumni and industry to connect and collaborate within the school.
“When we heard about the BASE program and the principles of the program, what really excited us was the link bringing together people within the industry to students before they graduate,” Cavanaugh said.
The BASE “home run” occurs when innovative technology revolutionizes the typical business cycle of product sales and delivery.
“When you combine the business analytics and supply chain, it’s going to require extensive expertise and understanding new product development,” Cavanaugh said. “These products are going to require people who understand what they are, what they do and why they do it.
“When you put them all together, that BASE program just nailed my idea of what the future is going to look like. The exponential growth of technologies is going to need people who understand how technology improves business efficiencies.”
Barry Babin, executive director of the BASE program, executive director of the Academy of Marketing Science, chair of the UM Department of Marketing and Morris Lewis Professor of Marketing, said he is grateful for the couple’s support of the initiative.
“The fact that the Cavanaughs recognize the potential of the BASE initiative to engage students with industry leaders in sales, business analytics and supply-chain management affirms the intentions of the BASE: to make sure Ole Miss remains on the cutting edge in providing a relevant foundation to our students, allowing them to hit the ground running in building productive and rewarding careers,” he said.
“The Cavanaughs’ support will open doors for students who might otherwise not be able to take advantage of the career development opportunities associated with BASE initiatives.”
Recipients of the Cavanaugh Scholarship will be full-time students in the School of Business Administration who actively participate in BASE-related programming. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 or better grade-point average to retain the scholarship. Priority will be given to students from Mississippi who add to the diversity of the program, with first preference given to children of Ole Miss alumni.
The Harlene and Patrick Cavanaugh Scholarship Endowment is open to support from businesses and individuals. Gifts can be made by sending a check, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655, or by giving online at https://give.olemiss.edu